Some Thoughts On Video Games: August 2017

It came from Playstation Plus!

After putting together a few lists like this one earlier this year I completely stopped doing them for a while. My original focus was just putting my thoughts about a game without turning it into a traditional review. That is still what these lists will be about and in general they should be only a paragraph about each game. This month's theme is all about games that were apart of the ps plus lineup. I’ve always considered plus to be a good way for me to try new game types that normally wouldn’t gel with my preferred style of game. Although my negative reaction to most of these games may mean I skipped these for a reason. Still they were at least worth looking at plus all of these games barely lasted for more than a few hours.

List items

  • Upon booting up Level 22 I was quickly assaulted with the fact this took a lot of inspiration from Metal Gear. Even if it looked cute and was set in a office building. Being able to hide in a box cemented that feeling. Except in this case it was set up like a puzzle game. With minimal combat each level ended up focusing on using items to sneak past enemies like using a donut to distract a guard. If only the story they pieced together with a bunch of jokes did anything other than make the protagonist a jerk I might have liked this game a bit more. The top down stealth action is fine and I even completed every level since it was a short experience. To bad the replay value comes down to looking through levels for collectibles which isn't that fun the second time around.

  • Yes the PS1 classic version of this game was on the PS Plus service at one point. Like Parappa the Rapper the timing on when you can hit the notes is way to strict. Although now that I've played all the rhythm games in this series recently I kinda think they are just very unforgiving instead of input lag being the true issue. Not hitting a note correctly in the series twice will bump you down a notch. With the game being so short it makes sense they would make it super tough so a player couldn't beat it in a afternoon. So it doesn't work in a modern context but it still oozes style. 2D characters in a flat world just looks really unique. Plus it's hard to hate all the awesome guitar riffs you'll hear throughout the seven levels.

  • From the opening moments it becomes apparent quickly that this doesn’t have much depth. While it does let you dig to the center of Mars that is all you’ll be doing. Maybe it works a bit better with a friend but going solo I got bored quickly. The only real change becomes new types of dirt that can’t be dug through till a few items are collected. Along with some magma rocks that just slow down the progress I made by making me go back to one of the bases to repair my ship. A bit of a mystery lies under the ground as well with mysterious messages that seem to imply nefarious plans by some unknown being. If it was a bit more than just snippets of text it could have been interesting. Plus the end boss just doesn’t seem like it should be in a game with zero combat.

  • Like the last game this one is build onto one main mechanic. As a robot that can’t speak the only tool our little friend can use is a tractor beam. Every puzzle uses it in some way. Sometimes all that needs to be done is flip a switch while other moments will test your creative thinking by laying out a bunch of items that must be used to solve the current puzzle. With zero dialogue the only thing that interested me was seeing the next puzzle. After a while it really felt like I was just going through the motions since other than one puzzle that had me stumped for a while the rest didn’t take much to solve. Leaving me with the impression that this is a OK game that is very forgettable.

  • I really can’t say much about this game since it is just a experience. It is a walking sim where you go around seeing strange sights and sounds that don’t quite seem real. This entire game feels like some weird dream that goes nowhere. By the time the credits rolled I couldn’t quite understand what the developer was trying to say. Unless the goal was hey look at all these weird set pieces and uh you're in a coma. If that really was what I was supposed to take away from this then ehhh…

  • My first playthrough of this with a friend made the game seem like it was extremely hard. We could barely manage to hang on till we eventually lost half way through the dungeon. Which felt like the correct vision of the experience the developers were going for. Then we unlocked Death and juggled our way to victory. In a game that felt like it was built to slowly make progress down a dungeon multiple times the fact we beat it the second time through robbed it from its focus of being a rogue lite. Since beating the game once only unlocked a new way to go down the dungeon with no change in the layout at all, I didn't see much of reason to keep playing.

    Sure it was harder but since everything in the world is random none of the environments have anything interesting going on other than showing off how this pseudo fighting game has terrible platforming parts occasionally. At least the fighting game part is well crafted. If only they gave the player a reason to keep coming back. Going through the same random area again after finishing the game 3 times just isn’t fun anymore without something new to mix things up a little bit.

  • 100% more Black flag now with a different protagonist that focuses on saving slaves. Props to Ubisoft for tackling a subject like this. They do it well enough but I can't say it effected me in any way. I'm sure if I played this with BF still fresh in my mind it would have more of a impact. At least it gave me a reason to play around with boats as a pirate again.